Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Don't get out of bed Version 27

See, this is the sort of depressing development that makes one lose faith in modern Britain. Hopes had been hight that, for the first time since 1979, conditions would be right for the Grand Match between 2,000 curlers representing the North and South of Scotland to take place on the Lake of Menteith. (It's not simply a matter of the ice being thick enough; there musn't be any snow on the lake either.) And indeed the weather has played its part and in a better, saner world the bonspiel would be going ahead.
But that reckons without our health and safety culture. So the Grand Match is off:
The sport's governing body, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, said in a statement it was greatly disappointed the match could not go ahead.
The club said the decision had been made after "extensive discussions" with the emergency services.
The statement added: "It has not proved possible to address all health and safety concerns and receive the full backing of the emergency services within the timescales involved.
"Without achieving this it would be impossible to gain the necessary insurance to hold the event. Every possible effort has been made to facilitate this unique event but it has been acknowledged that public safety must remain the primary concern."
[...]Central Scotland Police, who were involved in the negotiations, said they had a number of "serious concerns" about the proposed bonspiel.
Supt Davie Flynn said: "We understand the attraction of such an event and recognise this is an unique opportunity for people passionate about their sport to participate in. However, there are clear and obvious risks and the safety of the public could not be guaranteed."
So, rather than help this great and traditional occasion take place, the police have, it seems, done their best to make sure it doesn't happen while also preventing individuals from exercising their own judgement and taking their own decisions.
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